Home Page Images — Alphabetical Archive
Saher Alam was born in Lucknow, India and moved to the United States when she was five. She is a graduate of Princeton University and the Creative Writing Program at Boston University. Alam also held a Creative Writing Fellowship in Fiction at Emory University from 1998 to 2000, and her short stories have been featured in the anthology Best of the Fiction Workshops 1999, as well as the journals Literary Imagination and Five Chapters. Her debut novel, The Groom To Have Been, won the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize for Fiction in 2008.
Alykhan Alani is a Take Five student this year. He majored in International Health and Society and has minors in Islamic Studies and Women's Studies. Alykhan is the founder of Rochester Students for Social Justice, a pan-collegiate coalition of progressive student activists in the Rochester area. He volunteers locally with many groups, including Rochester Food Not Bombs and Metrojustice Rochester. In his free time he works for the University of Rochester Admissions Office as a Meridian and DJ's under the name DJ ALYKHAN. He is an active scholar, recently presenting his work at the 2012 Seneca Falls Dialogues and the 2013 Rochester Institute of Technology's Conable Conference. He was the 2010 recipient of Michael Lowenstein Memorial Award.
Anzaldua self-describes as a “Chicana/Tejana/lesbian/dyke/feminist/writer/poet/cultural theorist”. After receiving her Master’s from the University of Texas-Austin in 1972, she taught a course called “La Mujer Chicana.” Teaching this class engaged her with feminism and queer theory, which fueled her later work. In 1977, disappointed with the lack of representation of women of color, she began to focus on her own writing, which included her involvement with the Feminist Writers Guild. In the 1980s and early 90s Anzaldua published two books, This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color and Making Face Making Soul/Haciendo Caras: Creative and Critical Perspectives by Feminists of Color. Anzaldua received the National Endowment of the Arts Fiction Award and the Lambda Lesbian Small Press Book Award.
It was a good year for the LGBTQ community and its supporters during the US elections. Tammy Baldwin became the first openly gay United States Senator. There was also the re-election of pro-LGBTQ leaders President Barack Obama and his Vice President Joe Biden (who called transgender discrimination the “civil rights issue of our era”), but more importantly, there were big wins in terms of marriage equality. Maine, Minnesota, and Washington all voted to support marriage equality, and Maryland struck down an amendment that would have defined marriage as one-man-one-woman. Additionally, Stacie Laughton became New Hampshire’s first transgender lawmaker.
Clara Barton founded the American Red Cross in 1881, motivated by her experiences tending to wounded soldiers in the American Civil War and helping prepare hospitals for the Franco-Prussian War. Barton began lobbying for support of the American Red Cross in 1873, arguing that it would be of assistance in times of peace as well as in war-time. In 1896, Barton was able to open the first American International Red Cross in Turkey after the Hamidian Massacres. The American Red Cross continues to be active and aids in domestic disaster relief, blood donation and collections, military services, community health education efforts, international relief programs, and other services for those in need.
Pushpa Basnet, one of CNN's 2012 Heroes Winners, founded the Early Childhood Development Center (ECDC) in Kathmandu Napal in 2005. The center works with jail administrators to keep the children of incarcerated individuals out of jail cells. In Nepal, incarcerated parents (particularly mothers) must bring their children to jail with them if there are no individuals available to act as a gaurdian. Children growing up in jail cells lack access to education, nutrition, and medical care. Basnet's center gives children of incarcerated individuals a safe home, regular medical check-ups, and enrollment in a local school. Children have regular visitations with their parents, including on holidays.
Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) was an author, jurist, philosopher, and legal and social reformer. Though he is best known for his advocacy of utilitarianism and animal rights, Bentham was also very outspoken against the oppression of women. His decision early in life to become a reformist is attributed to his disagreement with the legally inferior position of women in society; thus, he argued for complete equality between the sexes. In Offences Against One’s Self, Bentham also argued for the liberalization of laws prohibiting homosexual sex, though this essay was not published until 1931, nearly 100 years after his death.
Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm
After graduating Columbia University in 1952 with a Masters in Elementary Education, Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm was a director of a child care center. Her political career began In 1964, winning a seat in the New York State Legislature. In 1968 she was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, making her the first black woman elected to such a position. Chisholm participated in the founding of the Congressional Black Caucus in 1971 and in 1972 she was the first black candidate for the President of the United States from a major party. Chisholm was backed by the National Organization of Women and Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem were among her supporters. During her unsuccessful campaign she survived three assassination attempts. Chisholm continued to serve in Congress until 1982. During her time there she was focused on increasing funding for education and healthcare, and reducing the military spending budget. Upon retiring, Chisholm returned to her roots in education, teaching Women’s Studies and Politics at Mount Holyoke College. In 1993 Chisholm was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame and President Bill Clinton nominated her as the ambassador to Jamaica, which she had to decline based on her health. She passed away January 1, 2005 at the age of 80.
Olivia Coffaro is a major in Women's Studies. She is an active member of Phi Sigma Sigma, a dynamic sisterhood of powerful women fostering uncompromising principles, igniting positive change, and embracing individuality. She also is active in Women's Caucus. This semester, Olivia is interning at Planned Parenthood of the Rochester/Syracuse Region in Community Affairs and Public Policy.
Jennifer Denetdale is the first Diné/Navajo individual to earn a Ph.D. in history. She is an Associate Professor of American Studies at University of New Mexico and teaches courses in Native American Studies. Denetdale is especially interested in gender and feminism in conjunction with Navajo history and culture. She is the author of Reclaiming Diné History: The Legacies of Navajo Chief Manuelito and Juanita and The Long Walk: The Forced Exile of the Navajo and is currently working on a research project regarding the history of Navajo women.
Gracia Molia de Pick
Gracia Molia de Pick (b. 1929) began her activism young; at just 16 she founded Partido Popular, the only political party in Mexico at the time advocating for women’s suffrage. After moving to California in 1957, she earned two Education degrees. Later in life Molina de Pick founded several programs of study, including Chicana & Chicano Studies at Mesa College and Third World Studies at the University of California, San Diego. She went on to start many organizations advocating equality for women, including the premier Chicana feminist association in Mexico. Her many achievements were celebrated in San Diego, California on January 12, 2010 for Gracia Molina de Pick day.
Dr. Diaz-Cotto has authored several books advocating for Latinas and other people of color including Chicana Lives and Criminal Justice: Voices from El Barrio and Gender, Ethnicity, and the State: Latina and Latino Prison Politics. Under the name Juanita Ramos, she compiled a set of oral histories, short stories, and artwork in the book Compañeras: Latina Lesbians. This anthology, originally published in 1987, was the first of its kind, providing an outlet for Latina women to speak about their experiences. Dr. Diaz-Cotto now teaches at the State University of New York at Binghamton. She is a Professor of Sociology, Latin American and Caribbean Area Studies (LACAS), and Women’s Studies, as well as the director of their LACAS program.
Frederick Douglass (1818-1895) was an American social reformer, orator, and writer. After escaping slavery, he became a leader of the abolotionist movement and produced several abolitionist newspapers. In 1848, Douglass attended the first women's rights convention, the Seneca Falls Convention. Douglass stood and spoke eloquently in favor of women's suffrage, stating that he could not accept the right to vote as a black man if women could not also claim that right. He suggested that the world would be a better place if women were involved in the political sphere. "In this denial of the right to participate in government, not merely the degradation of woman and the perpetuation of a great injustice happens, but the maiming and repudiation of one-half of the moral and intellectual power of the government of the world."
Frederick Douglass, born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey, was born a slave in approximately 1818 in Maryland. In 1838, Douglass escaped slavery and made his way to New York, though he would eventually settle in Massachusetts. He became an anti-slavery lecturer, and participated in the American Anti-Slavery Society’s Hundred Conventions project. Douglass also produced a wealth of abolitionist newspapers, including The North Star, New National Era, and Frederick Douglass Weekly. In 1848 he attended the Seneca Falls Convention and worked continuously for women’s rights. In 1872, Douglass was the first African American nominated for Vice President of the United States on the Equal Rights Party ticket, though he never campaigned nor acknowledged the nomination. He died in 1895, shortly after returning from a meeting of the National Council of Women in Washington, D.C. He was buried in Mount Hope Cemetery.
Jack Drescher is a member of the American Psychiatric Association subcommittee working on revisions to its widlely used Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders (DSM). One revision will include a change in language from "Gender Identity Disorder" to "Gender Dysphoria." The language change came as a result of years of lobbying by advocates who felt that term "Gender Identity Disorder" as a classification for mental illness implied that all transgender individuals are mentally ill. The new language diagnoses individuals with Gender Dysphoria as displaying "a marked incongruence between one's experienced/expressed gender and assigned gender." While some advocates feel that this is not an adequate change, many agree that it is a great step forward in the conversation about civil rights and transgender individuals. Some see it as mirriong the removal of "homosexuality" from the DSM in 1973.
Carolyn was the first Women’s Studies graduate from the University of Rochester in 1984. Since then, she has held professional positions in education, banking, high tech and consulting firms, and health care.
Carolyn says, “I am working for URMC’s Information Systems Division as an e-Record Credentialed Trainer, and began that role in January of this year. I train Providers and Nurses in the use of the Ambulatory Electronic Medical Records System and provide telephone and on-site support to various departments.
I turned 50 years old this past week, and had a fabulous time celebrating with my friends and family. My husband and two ‘children’ (21 and 19 years old) went to Miami for a fun vacation/birthday celebration in March, and my husband and I traveled to Israel this past December to visit our son who was there for 5 months with a program for Jewish youth. A wonderful trip – I highly recommend it!”
Eve Ensler is widely known as the writer of the The Vagina Monologues. Ensler helped begin the anti-violence movement V-Day in 1998. V-Day’s mission calls for the end of violence against women: “rape, incest, battery, genital mutilation and sexual slavery must end now.” The movement works raises money through benefit performances of Ensler’s play, to advocate for the implementation of educational campaigns and legislation to stop the abuse of women.
Brenda Flyswithhawks (b. 1950) is a member of the Eastern Band of the Tsalagi (Cherokee) Nation and an American Indian activist and educator, as welll as traditional dancer, singer, drummer, and storyteller. She is one of the first women of the Cherokee Nation to receive a Ph.D. and works as an advocate for the American Indian community both within and across cultural circles. She teaches at Santa Rose Junior College and initiated the SEED (Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity) Project in 1995. She is now co-director of the national SEED Project based at the Center for Research on Women at Wellesley College.
Kasturba Gandhi worked closely with her husband, Mohandas Gandhi. When her husband became involved in the movement to improve working conditions for Indians in South Africa, Kasturba Gandhi joined the struggle, eventually being arrested and spending three months in a hard-labor prison. Gandhi spoke on her husband’s behalf when he was imprisoned, and was closely associated with the struggle in India, often giving encouragement to female volunteers.
Barbara Gittings (1932-2007) was a prominent activist for gay equality. She organized the New York chapter of the Daughters of Bilitis (DOB), the first lesbian rights organization in the United States. She also served as editor for The Ladder, the national DOB magazine, from 1963-1966. Gittings was prominent in the first protests against the U.S. government’s ban on the employment of LGBT individuals and, among her many accomplishments, she formed the first professional gay caucus within the American Library Association.
Michelle Gordon received her M.A. in African-American Studies and Ph. D. in English from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Southern California. She specializes in American Literature and African-American Studies, with an emphasis on literary radicalism, intellectual history, black women’s studies, and urban cultural studies in the nineteenth- and twentieth-century U.S. She has published a book chapter entitled “Somewhat Like War: The Aesthetics of Segregation, Black Liberation, and A Raisin in the Sun”, and her book manuscript “Bringing Down Babylon: The Chicago Renaissance, the Black Arts Movement, and African American Freedom Struggles, 1931-1969” offers a literary history of black Chicago’s two most vibrant literary movements. Gordon will give this year's Two Icons Lecture, “Baby, You Could be Jesus in Drag: Lorraine Hansberry and Black Domestic Workers on Being The Help,” on Wednesday, February 29 at 5pm in the Welles-Brown Room, Rush Rhees Library, University of Rochester.
Charlotte Forten Grimke
Charlotte Forten Grimke (1837 – 1914) was raised in a wealthy, black abolitionist family. She studied literature and teaching and joined the Salem Female Anti-Slavery Society. Grimke went on to teach white children in Massachusetts, and was the first black woman to do so. A champion for education, Grimke taught freed slaves in South Carolina, and later recruited educators in partnership with the United States Treasury in Washington, D.C.
Lorraine Hansberry was born in 1930 in Chicago, Illinois. She attended the University of Wisconsin for two years before leaving to pursue a writing career in New York City, where she attended The New School. Hansberry worked on the black newspaper Freedom while in New York, at which time she was also writing her best known work, A Raisin in the Sun. A Raisin in the Sun was a huge success, and was the first play written by an African-American woman to be produced on Broadway. At 29 years old, Hansberry was the youngest American playwright and only the fifth woman to receive the New York Drama Critics Award for Best Play. She died at age 34 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.
Patricia Roberts Harris
Patricia Roberts Harris, born May 31, 1924, graduated Howard University in 1945 with highest distinction. In 1943 she participated in one of the first lunch counter sit-ins where she met her future husband, William Beasley Harris. She pursued post-graduate work at the University of Chicago and at American University. Harris began working for the United States government as an attorney for the Department of Justice. It was there that she developed a friendship with the new Attorney General Robert Kennedy. She was appointed the co-chairperson of the National Women's Committee for Civil Rights by President John F. Kennedy in 1963. A year later, Harris was elected as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention and worked on Lyndon Johnson’s presidential campaign. In 1965, President Johnson appointed Harris as the Ambassador to Luxembourg, making her the first African American woman to serve as a United States Ambassador. She served on President Jimmy Carter’s cabinet when he began his term in 1977, which incidentally made her the first African American woman to be in the Presidential line of succession. Harris also served as the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare. She lost an election in 1982 for Mayor of Washington, D.C. but accepted a full-time professorship at the George Washington National Law Center. She died of breast cancer in 1985 at the age of 60.
Joseph "Joss" Hill Whedon
Joseph Hill “Joss” Whedon is an American screenwriter, executive producer, and director. He is best known for creating the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, and Dollhouse. Whedon is a self-identified feminist, and credits his mother, Lee Stearns, for his worldview. He was honored at an Equality Now benefit, “Honoring Men on the Front Lines,” in 2006. Whedon says that he is an activist “Because it’s no longer enough to be a decent person. It’s no longer enough to shake our heads and make concerned grimaces at the news. True enlightened activism is the only thing that can save humanity from itself.”
Evelyn Hooker (1907-1966) was a psychologist whose path-breaking study argued and gave evidence that homosexuality was not a mental disorder (as it had been widely-described during that time), but a variance of human sexuality. Hooker’s study, first published in 1957 in the Journal of Projective Techniques, served as a foundation for most political and philosophical work dealing with LGBTQ rights. Her work was integral in the successful removal of homosexuality from the American Psychiatric Association (APA) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Hooker was awarded the APA's Award for Distinguished Contribution to Psychology in the Public Interest in 1991.
Erika Howard is an English major with a minor in Women's Studies. She served as an student office assistant at SBAI from 2010-2013. She also has served as the president of the Undergraduate Council in Gender and Women's Studies, and the VOX (Voices for Planned Parenthood) liason for the University of Rochester Women's Caucus. She served as the Arts and Enterntainment Editor for the University of Rochester Campus Times Newspaper for 2012, and as the Marketing Intern for Wilson Commons Students Union during the Spring 2012 semester. She was the 2012 recipient of the Fannie Bigelow Prize. Learn more about her at LinkedIn!
Marsha P. Johnson
Marsha P. Johnson (1944-1992) was a transgender LGBTQ rights activist and a popular figure in the New York City art scene from the 1960s through the 1990s. She was a leader in clashes with the police amid the Stonewall Riots in 1969, and a co-founder of Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR). When a judge asked Johnson what the "P" in her name stood for, she replied “Pay It No Mind." The statement became her signature phrase. Johnson was photographed for an Andy Warhol series and interviewed by Allen Young for his book Out of the Closets: Voices of Gay Liberation.
Barbara Charline Jordan
After unsuccessful campaigns in 1962 and 1964, Barbara Charline Jordan finally won a seat in the Texas House of Representatives in 1966. This election made her the first African American to be elected to the Texas Senate since 1883 and the first African American woman to be elected to the position. After serving in the Texas Senate until 1972, Jordan was elected to United States Congress. Former President Lyndon B. Johnson supported Johnson, assisting her in securing a spot on the House Judiciary Committee. In 1975 she was appointed to the Democratice Steering and Policy Committee. There was talk of Jordan being Jimmy Carter’s potential running mate in 1976 but instead she delivered the keynote at the Democratic National Convention, the first African American woman to do so. In 1979 Jordan retired from politics and began teaching ethics at the University of Texas at Austin. Suffering from Multiple Sclerosis and Leukemia, Jordan passed away in 1996 at the age of 59, survived by her long-term partner Nancy Earl.
Kahlo was an influential and prolific artist active in the 20th century. Her story is fraught with tragedy: polio, a terrible bus accident, and many surgeries; despite the catastrophes she faced, Kahlo was an avid painter, using her life as inspiration for her work. Kahlo was very political, actively demonstrating her support for communism. She married painter Diego Rivera, but was very open about her bisexuality. Kahlo is viewed as a feminist and a pillar of strength in many communities.
Michael Scott Kimmel
Michael Scott Kimmel is an American sociologist specializing in gender studies. He is currently a Distinguished Professor at SUNY Stony Brook, and the editor of Men and Masculinities, a peer-reviewed academic journal of men’s studies, feminism, protofeminism, multiculturalism, and queer theory. Kimmel has published many male-focused feminist pieces, including “Changing Men: New Directions in the Study of Men and Masculinity”, “The Gendered Society”, “Against the Tide: Pro-Feminist Men in the U.S., 1776-1990”, and many more.
Anuradha Koirala is the founder and director of the non-profit organization Maiti Nepal, dedicated to aiding victims of sex trafficking. Maiti Nepal runs a rehabilitation center in a home in Kathmandu. The organization is aptly named -- “Maiti” means “mother’s home” in Nepali. The home serves as a safe haven for women coming from the brothels of India. The program provides services to these women until they can return to their homes or are ready to live on their own. The organization coordinates with police on the India-Nepal border to reunite these women with their families and rescue more women from brothels with Indian authorities’ help. In 2010, Kiorala won the CNN Hero award and received $100,000 for her organization. The United States government awarded Maiti Nepal a two year $500,000 grant in April 2010.
Julie graduated from the University in 2009, and is spending the summer working in Spain as an au pair for a Spanish family. She previously worked as a nanny in San Francisco, and wanted to au pair in order to travel and see what family life is like on a day-to-day basis in a different country.
Julie says, “I am really enjoying my time with my Spanish family, especially the time I have spent on the sailboat that the father of the family both designed and built by hand. A Coruña is a beautiful city, with a lighthouse and security wall built during the Middle Ages. I am currently training for my first half marathon, and this beautiful trail is definitely making my training more enjoyable. I plan to spend the fall in San Francisco, and then I may be moving to Brazil sometime around December to au pair in Sao Paulo for a family I used to work for in San Francisco.
Women's Studies opened my eyes to a lot of things that, while I may have understood on a basic level, I did not know how to articulate. That's what I found so intriguing about the field. Some gender inequalities that now appear so blatant to me, were hidden because I grew up accepting that they were normal and not to be questioned. I feel similarly about traveling. I think that understanding new cultures is helping me to better analyze my own culture. “
Linda Legarde Grover
Linda LeGarde Grover is a member of the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa and an assistant professor of American Indian Studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth. She is also a columnist for the Duluth Budgeteer. The Dance Boots, her debut story collection, was the winner of the 2010 Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize and co-winner of the 2009 Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction. She is the coauthor of A Childhood in Minnesota: Exploring the Lives of Ojibwe and Immigrant Families 1880–1920, and the author of a poetry chapbook, The Indian at Indian School. In April 2012, LeGarde Grover received the Albert Tezla Teacher/Scholar Award from the University of Minnesota Duluth.
Linda LeGarde Grover
Linda LeGarde Grover is a member of the Bois Forte Band of Ojibwe and an assistant professor of American Indian Studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth. The Dance Boots, her debut story collection, was co-winner of the 2009 Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction. She is the coauthor of A Childhood in Minnesota: Exploring the Lives of Ojibwe and Immigrant Families 1880–1920, and the author of a poetry chapbook, The Indian at Indian School. She is the winner of the 2011 Kafka Prize for Fiction for The Dance Boots.
Ursula LeGuin was born in Berkeley, California. She writes both poetry and prose in various modes, including realistic fiction, science fiction, fantasy, young children’s books, screenplays, essays, verbal text for musicians, and voice texts. She has published seven books of poetry, twenty-two novels, eleven volumes of short stories, four collections of essays, twelve books for children, and four volumes of translation. A few of the awards she has won for her prolific work include the Hugo Award, the Nebula Award, the National Book Award, and the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize for Fiction for Always Coming Home in 1985.
Robin Lim, colloquially referred to as “Mother Robin,” founded Yayasan Bumi Sehat (Healthy Mother Earth Foundation) after complications in her sister’s pregnancy lead to the death of both her sister and the child in 2003. Lim moved to Indonesia to open up a clinic in order to provide midwife services and free prenatal care to low-income women. By public vote on CNN News Network’s website, Lim was awarded the CNN Hero of the Year award in 2011 and given $250,000 to continue to work. The Healthy Mother Earth Foundation has help thousands of Indonesian women go through pregnancy and give birth safely.
Audre Lorde was in 1934 in New York City to Caribbean immigrants from Grenada. A writer, poet, and activist, she wrote her first poem when she was eight. Lorde attended Hunter College, but spent a year as a student at the National University of Mexico, and upon her return to New York confirmed her identity as a poet and a lesbian. She earned her master’s degree in Library Science from Columbia University. Lorde’s poetry was published very regularly during the 1960s, at which time she was very politically active in the civil rights, antiwar, and feminist movements. In 1980, she co-founded Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press, the first U.S. publisher for women of color. Lorde was also State Poet of New York from 1991-1992. Lorde battled cancer for 14 years; she was first diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 1978 and underwent a mastectomy, and 6 years later was diagnosed with Liver Cancer, from which she died in 1992.
Wilma Mankiller’s family was relocated through the Bureau of Indian Affair’s Indian Relocation Act before her birth in 1945. The United States Army usurped the land of 45 Cherokee families, including that of the Mankiller family, during this time. The family settled in Daly City, near San Francisco, California where Mankiller attended San Francisco State University. Mankiller became involved in activism in the 1960s and joined the Occupation of Alcatraz Island in 1969. In the late 1970s she moved back to Oklahoma and began working for the Cherokee Nation. In 1983 she was elected deputy chief and when principal chief Ross Swimmer was promoted, Mankiller took over his position, making her the first female principle chief of the Cherokee Nation. She was elected in her own right in 1987 and again in 1991. The political system during Mankiller’s service was heavily male-dominated, unlike the traditional Cherokee culture which depended upon both sexes in leadership positions. During her terms in office, Mankiller worked hard to strengthen tribal businesses and improved infrastructure, including the construction of a hydroelectric facility. She is also credited with preparing the way for the Government-to-Government relationship between the Cherokee Nation and the U.S. Federal Government. Wilma Mankiller passed away in April 2010. She is remembered as a strong leader for the Cherokee Nation and an inspiration for Native American women in politics.
Maggie was a double major in Women’s Studies and Political Science. She was a Take 5 scholar studying sustainability and co-taught SBAI’s Sisterhood and Feminism course at Sojourner House.
Maggies says, “I loved being a Gender and Women's Studies Major at UR because the topics were so compelling and important, the professors so passionate about the material they were teaching, the other students inquisitive and engaged, and for the wonderful support of the Susan B. Anthony Institute. I think that I am fortunate, not only to have had such a positive experience as a student, but also to have cultivated a spirit and habit of critical thinking while earning my BA. That is something that will always stay with me. It has served me well in my current position, working at the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and I am sure that my education and experiences at SBAI will also prove advantageous in my next venture, moving to NYC this fall.”
Nicci Meadow graduated in 1985 with degrees in Political Science and Women’s Studies She was an officer in the Women's Caucus and a co-captain of the Women's Tennis Team. She created a credited semester-long internship at the National Women’s Political Caucus in 1984, monitoring their endorsed candidates during the year Geraldine Ferraro was on the ticket as the Vice Presidential Nominee.She wrote for a local newspaper, the New Women's Times.
Nicci says, “I especially enjoyed Feminist Post Modernism, a graduate level class that I took with several graduate students. I also remember writing a paper on international sex trafficking and sexual assault/rape war tactics, which I was able to do research on and track using United Nations documents. This was much before the trafficking of women became well known, before a time when laws and funding were allocated to start fighting against it.”
She went on to complete her dream of becoming a legal services lawyer, graduating from Northeastern University School of Law in 1988. Nicci practiced anti-poverty law for almost nine years in Central Massachusettes, where she organized a union of legal services lawyers. Nicci says she “pushes the boundaries of her legal career at all times,” and that she “moved on to become a non-profit manager overseeing WIC, domestic violence and sexual assault services, elderly nutrition, Head Start and Child Care, Immigration and Health Care Access programs.” She served as the Executive Director of the Women's Bar Association and Foundation of Massachusetts for three years. Nicci is currently the Director of Elder Services at Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD) in Boston where she is working on creating and advocating for just public policies, social change and ensuring basic services and resources are available for healthy aging with dignity for low in come older adults.
Martha Minow is the Dean of the Faculty of Law and the Jeremiah Smith, Jr. Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. Minow has written extensively about human rights, with a focus on racial and religious minorities, as well as women, children, and persons with disabilities. She has done work to help stabilize countries in transition, participated in government programs to increase access to curriculum for students with disabilities, and worked on the Divided Cities initiative to build an alliance of global cities in dealing with ethnic, religious, or political divisions. Minow was nominated in 2009 by President Obama to serve on the board of Legal Services Corporation, a government-sponsored organization providing civil legal assistance to low-income Americans.
In 2010, actress Demi Moore and actor Ashton Kutcher founded DNA, the Demi and Ashton Foundation. DNA seeks to end sexual exploitation of children in all forms, through either sex trafficking or child pornography. The “Real Men Don’t Buy Girls” campaign brought mainstream awareness to the issue of sex slavery. The campaign received over 2 million participants. DNA also coordinated with the Department of Homeland Security to create an educational video about identifying trafficking victims and getting help. This video is shown in 46 airports nationwide and receives 20 million viewers per month. The DNA Foundation is working to support stronger legislature, including the Domestic Minor Trafficking Deterrence and Victims Support Act and also has worked with the California’s Peace Officer Standards and Training team to create a law enforcement training video on issues surrounding human trafficking.
Toni Morrison was born Chloe Anthony Wofford, in Loraine, Ohio, and worked as an editor at Random House, a critic, and a public lecturer. She made her debut as a novelist in 1970 with The Bluest Eye, and has written nine novels overall. Her other works include children’s books, plays, short fiction, and non-fiction. She has won many awards, including the American Book Award, the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the Nobel Prize for Literature, and, of course, the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize for Fiction for Song of Solomon in 1977.
Carol Elisabeth Moseley Braun
Carol Elizabeth Moseley Braun was born on August 16, 1947 and grew up living in a segregated neighborhood in Chicago’s south side. Moseley Braun graduated the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1969 for her bachelor’s degree and received her law degree in 1972 from the University of Chicago. She remained in Chicago, serving as a prosecutor for the United States Attorney’s office from 1973-1977. During this time she won the Attorney General's Special Achievement Award for her work on housing, health, and environmental issues. Moseley Braun was the first African-American woman elected to the U.S. Senate, representing Illinois from 1993-1999. In February 2003 she announced her intention to win the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination but dropped out of the race in January 2004. Moseley Braun is pro-choice, in favor of increased gun control initiatives, against the death penalty, and was one of 14 senators to vote against the Defense of Marriage Act.
Mark Anthony Neal
Mark Anthony Neal is Professor of Black Popular Culture in the Department of African and African-American Studies at Duke University, where he won the 2010 Robert B. Cox Award for Teaching. Neal has written and lectured extensively on black popular culture, black masculinity, sexism and homophobia in Black communities, and the history of popular music. Neal is the founder and managing editor of the blog NewBlackMan and hosts the weekly webcast, Left of Black in collaboration with the John Hope Franklin Center at Duke University. A frequent commentator for National Public Radio, Neal contributes to several on-line media outlets, including Huff Post Black Voices and SeeingBlack.com. He has several publications in print, including Rethinking Black Masculinity (2005) and Looking for Leroy: (Il)Legible Black Masculinities (2012).
Patricia Nobbie is the deputy director of the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities. Her council, along with the United States Justice Department, pushed several states, including Georgia, to move developmentally disabiled patients into group homes or other forms of assisted living. The Justice Department has in recent years threatened legal action against states like Georgia who are accused of violating the civil rights of developmentally disabled individuals by placing them in hospitals and nursing homes rather than integrating them into society.
Ann Patchett was born in Los Angeles, but was raised in Nashville, Tennessee. Patchett sold her first story to the Paris Review before she graduated from college. In 1992 she released her first novel, The Patron Saint of Liars, which was named a New York Times Notable Book for the year. Patchett’s second novel, Taft, won the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize for Fiction in 1994. She wrote two more novels after Taft, most notably Bel Canto, which went on to win both the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize.
Elizabeth Peratrovich was born on July 4, 1911 and was an Alaska Native civil rights activist of Tlingit descent. In 1931, Peratrovich married her husband Roy, who served four terms as the mayor of Klawock, Alaska. Seeking greater opportunities, Peratrovich and her family moved to Juneau, AK . In Juneau and all across Alaska the discrimination against Alaska Native people was rampant. Both Elizabeth Peratrovich and her husband were leaders of the Alaska Native Brotherhood and the Alaska Native Sisterhood. Peratrovich and her husband lobbied for the Alaska Native Anti-Discrimination Act when it came up for re-evaluation in 1945 after being defeated in 1943. In 1945 Senator Allen Shattuck’s asked the senate, "who are these people, barely out of savagery, who want to associate with us whites, with 5,000 years of recorded civilization behind us?" Peratrovich famously responded to Shattuck’s question during her testimony stating, “I would not have expected that I, who am barely out of savagery, would have to remind gentlemen with five thousand years of recorded civilization behind them, of our Bill of Rights.” The Bill passed 11 to 5. Pertarovich did not receive recognition of her advocacy during her lifetime; she died in December 1958. Thirty years later the Alaska State Legislature established February 16th, the anniversary of the signing of the Anti-Discrimination Act, as “Elizabeth Peratrovich Day.”
Okolo Rashid (b. 1949) was born to a family of sharecroppers and grew up in the tumult of racial strife in the south. She has been a longtime advocate of social justice, multiculturalism, and anti-racism. After earning degrees in economics and public policy, she has had a varied career life, specializing in community development projects including historic preservation, working primarily with inner city communities and grassroots organizations. She helped found and is executive director of the International Museum of Muslim Cultures in Jackson, Mississippi.
Born in 1954, Condoleezza Rice has already had a long political career. She graduated the University of Denver in 1974 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. Rice taught Political Science at Stanford University from 1981-1987. In 1982 she changed her political affiliation from Democrat to Republican in part because she disagreed with President Jimmy Carter’s foreign policy. Rice served as the Special Assistant to the Director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1986 and from 1989-1991 she served in the National Security Council as Director (and then Senior Director) of Soviet and East European Affairs under President George H.W. Bush. During this time she was also a Special Assistant to the President on National Security Affairs. On January 26, 2005, the United States Senate confirmed her nomination as Secretary of State, making her the first African-American female to hold the position. After the Bush administration, Rice returned to academia and to teaching at Stanford University.
Adrienne Rich (1929-2012) was an American poet, essayist, and feminist. In her essay, “Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence”, Rich argued that lesbianism was an extension of feminism, and challenged the notion of women’s dependence on men, particularly as economic supports and as well as for sexual expression. She brought attention to heteronormativty and advocated a lesbian existence, a term for the historical and contemporary presence of lesbian creation, and a lesbian continuum to include the entire range of a woman-identified experience.
Jon Richardson is a Religion and Classics and Linguistics double major with a minor in Women's Studies. He most recently served as SBAI's LGBTQI Awareness Month Coordinating Intern (the first ever intern at SBAI!).He is a resident advisor/community advisor to undergraduates at the University of Rochester and Internshi Assitant at the Gwen M. Greene Career and Internship Center. Jon has exerience interning at non-profits doing such work as grant writing, community outreach, and communications and marketing. He recently was awarded a Univeristy of Rochester Student Life award. You can learn more about him at his LinkedIn account.
Felisa Rincón de Gautier
Rincón de Gautier was a woman of many trades. After high school, she became a pharmacist and before moving to New York City to study fashion design. Upon returning to her native Puerto Rico, she opened a flower shop. Rincón de Gautier was always a strong supporter of women’s right to vote and was active in the suffragist movement. She was involved with the Liberal Party of Puerto Rico, and left the party in 1938 to assist in the organization of the Popular Democratic Party of Puerto Rico. In 1946 Rincón de Gautier was elected mayor of San Juan, making her the first woman to serve as the mayor of a capital city in the Americas. She pioneered the implementation of preschool programs, which became the inspiration of the Head Start program in the U.S. Rincón de Gautier also made great strides in revamping San Juan’s public health system and established its School of Medicine. After her 22 year term as San Juan’s mayor, she served as the American Goodwill Ambassador under four U.S. Presidents.
Sylvia Rae Rivera
Sylvia Rae Rivera (1951-2002) was a transgender activist involved in Vietnam War protests, the Civil Rights and Feminist movements, and the Gay Rights Movement. She is particularly well known for her involvement in the Stonewall Riots. Rivera was a founding member of the Gay Liberation Front, as well as Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR), which she co-founded with her mentor, Marsha P. Johnson. Rivera reinstated STAR as an active political organization in 2001, fighting for the New York City Transgender Rights Bill and for a trans-inclusive New York State Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act. STAR also sponsored street pressures for justice when Amanda Milan, a transgender woman, was murdered in 2000.
In 2002, the United States government (under the Bush Administration) withdrew $34 million in funding from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) This meant that the UNFPA would have $34 million less to provide family planning services worldwide. Lois Abraham and Jane Roberts were livid with the United States’ decision and began independent email campaigns encouraging Americans to donate to UNFPA. Abraham and Roberts joined efforts to form 34 Million Friends of UNFPA with the goal of finding 34 million people to donate $1 or more to make up for the missing monetary contribution from the United States. Besides raising more than $4 million for UNFPA, 34 Million Friends has spread awareness about the goals of UNFPA and health care for women all around the world. Roberts was the keynote speaker for the 2012 Susan B. Anthony Institute Undergraduate Conference in Gender and Women's Studies at the University of Rochester.
Eleanor Roosevelt was the First Lady of the United States from 1933 to 1945. Roosevelt fought for human rights in many ways and through many capacities, serving as the Chairperson of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (1946-1951), the United States Delegate to the United Nations General Assembly (1946-1952), and the Chairperson of the Presidential Commission on the Status of Women (1961-1962). She was an ardent supporter of the Civil Rights Movement and a co-founder of Freedom House. Harry Truman called her the “First Lady of the World” due to her achievements for human rights.
In 1916, when contraception was illegal in the United States, Margaret Sanger opened the first birth control clinic. She was arrested for passing out information on contraceptives, yet to the authorities’ chagrin her court case brought attention and support to Sanger’s cause. Sanger formed the American Birth Control League in 1921, which would eventually become the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. She wanted to eliminate unsafe back-alley abortions and allow women to have more control over and more opportunities in their life. Sanger continued to advocate for birth control and formed the National Committee on Federal Legislation for Birth Control in 1929 to aid in lobbying. Sanger is credited with founding the birth control movement.
At fourteen years old, Holly Smith fell victim to a sex trafficking ring. Due to the lack of anti-trafficking laws at the time, Smith’s captor served only one year in jail. Smith now advocates against human trafficking by telling her story to raise awareness about domestic human trafficking. In September 2011, Smith testified to Congress in support of the Trafficked Victims Protection Act. Smith works to educate law enforcement on human trafficking and serves as a consultant to the AMBER Alert system in the United States. Smith is currently writing a memoir about her experience.
Justice Sotomayor studied at Princeton University as an undergraduate and went on to obtain her law degree from Yale Law School. She was a New York County District Attorney’s Office prosecutor and worked in private practice before she was nominated to serve as a federal judge by George H. W. Bush in 1991. She was then nominated by William J. Clinton in 1997 to the U.S. Court of Appeals. In May 2009, President Barack Obama nominated Justice Sotomayor to the United States Supreme Court to fill Justice David Souter’s seat. She was confirmed in August 2009. Justice Sotomayor is the third woman to serve on the Supreme Court and the first Hispanic Justice.
Julie graduate from the University of Rochester as a double major in Women’s Studies and Political Science in 2006.
Julie says, “I absolutely loved my time at UR and met so many great people through my involvement with the Susan B. Anthony Institute. My women’s studies degree, as well as my time spent in London while studying abroad junior year, made me want to pursue graduate studies in the UK. After graduation in 2006, I moved to England and earned an MSc in Gender, Development and Globalisation from the London School of Economics in 2007. I then spent a year working as a parliamentary researcher and constituency caseworker for a Member of Parliament in the House of Commons. My background in gender, women’s studies and politics then enabled me to transition from working in Parliament to working for a central government department, as a Policy Advisor for the newly created Government Equalities Office in the UK. In my time at the GEO, I worked on issues related to women’s appointment to company boards of directors, equality legislation and government policies related to maternity and paternity leave. After that, I spent a year working for a local government authority in London as a Senior Policy Officer before moving back to the US in September 2011. Currently, I’m working at a behavioral health agency as in Seattle, WA and volunteering with Planned Parenthood while I contemplate my next career move!”
Bibiana Ferraiuoli Suarez
In October of this year, in Puerto Rico, Betsian Carrasquillo-Peñaloza was indicted for having recruited, enticed, and transported a 14-year-old to engage in commercial sex acts knowing that the individual was a minor. It may be just one case, but it serves as a beacon of hope that many more cases may be presented and end in a similar fashion. And in an issue like sex trafficking, where perpetrators rarely face consequences from the legal system, it’s certainly cause to celebrate
Pictured is Bibiana Ferraiuoli Suarez, Executive Director of the Ricky Martin Foundation. The Ricky Martin Foundation advocates for the well being of children around the world in critical areas such as education, health, and social justice. Its principal program, People for Children, condems child exploitation and human trafficking. Ferraiuoli reported the indictment on Huffington Post last month.
Johanna Mansfield Sullivan
Johanna Mansfield Sullivan (1866 – 1936), commonly referred to as Annie Sullivan, grew up nearly blind due to untreated infections, and was without access to an education. While in an orphanage in Tewksbury, Massachusetts, Sullivan advocated for her education and was rewarded; at 14 she began at the Perkins School for the Blind in Boston. After graduating at the top of the class and undergoing several successful operations to restore her eyesight, Sullivan began teaching, and instructed the now famous Helen Keller. Sullivan and Keller’s teacher-student relationship blossomed into friendship and the two became advocates for the American Foundation for the Blind; both received honorary degrees from Temple University.
Mother Theresa was a Roman Catholic nun of Albanian ethnicity and Indian citizenship. She founded the Missionaries of Charity, and worked for over 45 years creating hospices and homes for people with HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and leprosy. She also established soup kitchens, children’s and family counseling programs, orphanages, and schools. Among the numerous awards and recognitions that Mother Theresa received are the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 and Bharat Ratna, the Republic of India’s highest civilian award.
Madonna Thunder Hawk
Growing up in the in the 1940s and 1950s, a time plagued by alcohol abuse, poverty, and restrictions on Native American expression, made an impression on Madonna Thunder Hawk. She has been involved with activism of all kinds since the 1960s including Native American cultural preservation and environmental justice. Thunder Hawk was an original member of the American Indian Movement and is the co-founder of Women of All Red Nations, which has brought attention to a number of causes including forced sterilization of Native American women in the 1970s and the effects of pollution in the Pine Ridge Reservation on women’s reproductive health.
Harriet Tubman was born Araminta “Minty” Ross to slave parents in approximately 1822 in Maryland. Tubman escaped from slavery in 1849, making use of the Underground Railroad, eventually reaching Philadelphia. However, she immediately returned to Maryland for her family, and eventually guided dozens of slaves to freedom. She was known as “Moses” and “never lost a passenger”. Tubman later helped plan and recruit help for John Brown’s raid at Harper Ferry. She served in the Civil War as a nurse, scout, and even led an armed assault in support of the Union. In her later years, Tubman worked to promote suffrage for women. She died of pneumonia in 1913.
Urvashi Vaid is a community organizer, writer, and attorney, who has been a leader in the LGBT social justice movement for nearly three decades. Vaid is the Director of the Engaging Tradition Project at the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law at Columbia Law School. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Gill Foundation, which works to achieve equal opportunity for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. For more than 10 years Vaid has worked in various capacities at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and has also worked as staff attorney at the National Prison Project of the American Civil Liberties Union, where she initiated the organization’s work on HIV/AIDS in prisons. In 2009, She was named by Out magazine as one of the 50 most influential people in America.
At the age of 13, Sina Vann was sold into sex slavery by her friend. After two years of captivity, Vann was rescued during an anti-slavery raid organized by activist Somaly Mam. Vann now works with the Somaly Mam Foundation to free other sex slaves through the “Voices for Change” program and in 2009 she was awarded the Frederick Douglas Award from international anti-slavery organization Free the Slaves for her activism and advocacy efforts. Vann is continuing her education and is seen as one of the foremost activists in Cambodia advocating against sex slavery.
Hilary Wermers is graduating with double majors in English and Women's Studies. She serves as the Schimmel Writing Fellows President in the University of Rochester Writing Program and as an employee at the Susan B. Anthony Center for Women's Leadership. In 2011 she recieved the Jane Plitt Award from the Suasn B. Anthony Center for Women's Leadership. She served as director of The Vagina Monologues for Women's Caucus. During the Spring 2013 semester she served as an intern in Congresswoman Louise Slaughter's Rochester Office. Learn more about her at LinkedIn!
After learning about two men charged with child sex trafficking in her town of Wichita, Kansas, Jennifer White began working with the Wichita Children’s Home and started the grassroots movement ICT S.O.S. The organization, founded in 2011, coordinates with state legislators to make changes to human trafficking laws and provides emergency shelter services and long-term housing and rehabilitation. Where other efforts have failed, volunteers for ICT SOS have found success in writing letters to child pornography websites demanding they remove the pictures. ICT SOS is working to educate the public about human trafficking and White encourages others to be the catalyst for change in their community.
Kirsten is a double major in studio art and film and media studies with a minor in women's studies. She served as an SBAI student office assistant from 2010-2012. She also served as the Editor-in-Cheif for LOGOS, the University of Rochester's undergraduate art and literature journal, from 2012-2013. Kirsten served in serveral capacities on the board of the Undergraduate Council for Art and Art History and has worked at several places on campus, including Sage Art Center You can learn more about her at her LinkedIn and you can view some of her performance art here.